Sat 28
1st XV
London Welsh
London 2 North West: Luton 26-42 London Welsh

London 2 North West: Luton 26-42 London Welsh

By Ian Nancollas
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Luton suffered their third defeat of the season as they lost 26-42 to London Welsh at Newlands.

However, in addition to earning their first point of the season, the performance showed there is room for optimism for the games ahead.

In a match taking on the colours of autumn - the home side in orange (and pink socks in support of the club's lunch in aid of Ovarian Cancer), the visitors in red and the ref issuing yellows - Luton went head-to-head against joint league leaders Welsh.

For most of the first half Luton not only held the lead but controlled the game. Then the first of 4 yellows for the home side saw them concede 3 tries before half time.

The ‘dragons’ then dominated the second period running in a further 3 tries. As the Luton penalty count increased 3 more players went to the bin. However a later rally saw a 4th try and a losing bonus point.

At kick-off the home side welcomed back Olly Haynes at fly half, Ryan Cane on the wing and Denzel Edwards in the back row.

Luton got off to a flying start when a good break by Martin O'Grady was finished off by Matt Poole and converted by Haynes. And Luton continued to take the game to their illustrious visitors, led from the front as always by captain Ryan Staff.

But the game changed on the half hour mark. First Callum Strachan was lucky not to see red for a high tackle. Then minutes later Harry Alston was not as fortunate as he was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

The Welsh Dragons stirred and quickly added three scores against the 14 men of Luton.

However in the last minute of the half Alston returned to the field. Back at full strength the home since worked to get Tom Winch over in the corner and ended the half 12-21 in arrears.

Welsh then proceeded to dominate the second period. Luton regularly conceded penalties which led to further yellow cards for Tyler Chant, Winch and Strachan. Unsurprising, with at one point only 13 Luton players on the pitch,London Welsh scored three more converted tries.

But Luton fans also had opportunity to cheer as rare excursions into the Welsh 22 resulted in a try for O'Grady and a bonus point try fromsubstitute Ash Willing on the final whistle.

So Luton sit at the foot of London 2 North West as they travel to Grasshoppers next Saturday.

However this team is unrecognisable from the one that lost on the opening day of the season a fortnight ago. If they can reduce the penalty count and keep 15 players on the pitch the wins will start to come.

First team manager Steve’Taff’Evans added: “I was incredibly proud of the entire team today. The displayed a passion and commitment to the game which will stand us in great stead for the coming matches.

“Martin O’Grady, Olly Haynes and Ryan Staff had fantastic games, but in fairness every man worked out of their skin.”

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Match details

Match date

Sat 28, Sep 2019




London 2 North West

League position

London Welsh